Is one school resource officer enough for 13 Chesterfield schools?

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 3 at 8:15 PM

CHESTERFIELD, Mo (KMOV.com) – The Chesterfield Police Department will expand its current school resource officer program to include all schools - both public and private - at the elementary level through high school.

 

Currently, the Chesterfield Police Department has school resource officers assigned to each of the two high schools and two middle schools within the City of Chesterfield.

Those four officers will remain full time in their respective schools. Under the new program an officer will be re-assigned to provide additional security at all elementary schools and the one private high school located within the Chesterfield community. 

But some parents want an officer in every school at all times.

But the department says to put an SRO in every school, they would have to increase the number of officers they have out in the community by roughly 20 percent.

This week Officer Steve Borawski is meeting with school officials in a series of “get acquainted” sessions.

He’ll become a familiar face to students, teachers and staff, review intruder alert plans, get to know the lay-out of the campus and become something of an expert on each school building. He’ll be on the road quite a bit, spreading his time between 13 schools.

But some parents have wondered if one officer between all the schools is enough.

“...An act of violence can occur in a matter of moments...Is it really enough to have one officer divided between so many schools?

“We feel it is and here’s why. For these elementary schools the problem is you’re not going to be there the instant something happens every time,” said Chesterfield PD Capt. Steve Lewis.

Lewis says officers will still be on patrol near the schools and respond to 9-1-1 calls.

Borawski will divide his time among a private high school, preschools and elementary schools in the Parkway and Rockwood school districts.

Kim Cranston with the Rockwood School District says she thinks it’s a good first step to provide security in the schools so children and staff are safe.

“We’re appreciative and we’ll work out schedule and he’ll be where he needs to be,” she said.

Providing an SRO to elementary schools would seem to be the final step in a trend that began about 15 years ago in Chesterfield. That’s when the first SRO started in the high schools. Ten years ago the program included middle schools. Now the youngest of students will be included as well.

 

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